You’ve heard of Grammar Ghoul Press and their flash fiction depot, yes? If you haven’t, then get thee to the punnery straightaway.
They hold a number of weekly writing-prompt challenges: a mutant 750-word one, a 66-worded chimera, and, next week (around May 13th), a 13-word microfiction challenge in lieu of the chimera. The lucky 13’er also could become a regular part of the ghouls’ rotation of writing.
These flash fiction challenges, among other worthy ones I’m sure many of you participate in, offer sterling opportunities to sharpen the writing quill and editorial guillotine. I hope you’ll consider taking part—but on deadline, unlike me.
In that vein, here’s my 12th-hour stab at the weekly chimera (whose voting is open now; so go do that pronto), whose word-theme du jour is enigma. I’m also providing a slightly longer freebie (lucky you, right?!) that I wanted to get on (electronic) paper before it got lost to time. Enjoy, critique, share, or give it a try yourself and let us know you did in the comments. And, again, be sure to vote for your favorites among the chimera offerings.
She fed the metal engraving into the machine and waited. It indicated either a humanoid using acid to etch what passed for their words—strangled sounds, pitiful scratchings—or the presence of insect time-trails. The translation into Brenn’th-uk only pecked at the hinted depths of the enigma: Cover yourselves in caves of light; the night thing is near. Baffled, she took the message to her people.
The Enigma of the Sea
Sidney was on the shore, not in striking distance, when they enveloped the children. Two cerulean curtains moving with the motion of the underskirt of a parade float. Manta rays, we thought at first. We saw her dive into the water after watching—it seemed like minutes—then screaming “they can’t hold their breath forever!” She came up sputtering, with only a shawl of seawater and kelp, but reported a large, lightless shape just meters from the sand, defying space. “I can’t explain the terror . . . axe in a frozen sea.” She rambled—to be expected—but the Enigma soon communicated an ultimatum: Come to us if you hope to ever win your children back.